Fishermen killings: HC orders notice to Centre, State

Chennai, Feb 2 (PTI) The Madras High Court todayordered issue of notices to Central and State governments on apetition seeking a probe by National Investigating Agency(NIA) into the killing of fishermen in the internationalwaters with Sri Lanka.

The court was hearing a petition filed by one JebamaniMohanraj seeking a direction to Tamil Nadu government totransfer nearly 570 cases related to the killing of fishermenat sea off the state coast to the NIA.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbaland Justice T S Sivagnanam asked Government Pleader RajaKalifullah and Assistant Solicitor General J Ravindran to getinstructions on the matter.

Two Tamil fishermen were killed last month off thestate coast after they were attacked by Sri Lankan Navy, thepetitioner said.

Mohanraj submitted that the killings were preceded byas many as 570 killings of unarmed Indian fishermen, killed atsea by "unknown entities suspected to be naval personnel orterrorists or non-state actors".

He said despite police having closed about half of thecases as they were deemed ''undetectable'', they continued toregister FIRs "knowing fully well" that investigation wouldnot proceed beyond that point.

The counsel for the petitioner contended that "sinceno investigation has been done by Tamil Nadu Police in any ofthese cases, apparently on account of lack of infrastructure,they ought to have handed-over the cases to the Union ofIndia�s investigating agency".

The bench posted the matter after two weeks forfurther hearing.

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